Alex James: Nothing could please me more

Rural Notebook

Share
Related Topics

There was a time when I wanted stuff to happen. The bits where nothing was happening. Well, they were wasted moments as far as I was concerned. "Boring!" I sneered at the slightest dip in the pace. "Bring me another spaceship!" "How do I make this go faster, louder, bigger, upside down...?"

I'm sure it has something to do with country living, a sense of time and space ranging beyond the all-consuming distractions, the square-foot-per-minute focus and hustle of city life, but recently I've grown to appreciate the little pauses more than the action sequences. These are without doubt the best bits for the ageing rock gentleman. The glacial pace and momentum of agriculture, the superhuman rhythms of the seasons: it's all wonderfully calming and I don't know, sometimes I'm so overwhelmed by the grand spectacle of life in widescreen technicolour I can barely cope with beholding the scenery, or the sunshine on my face.

Well, I'd just got the new barbecue going. There was only one slightly singed fringe and a minor nosebleed among the children. Children love fire and I was just thinking this was all quite exciting as I came back outside with the chipolatas in my hand to a gust powerful enough to lay the daffodils flat and a roar that stopped our hearts and set them going again twice as fast. From nowhere, a light aircraft skimmed the garden at around 20ft, below the tallest trees. We ran out into the field to wave. It was Tony, my old flying instructor. I spotted him over the campsite descending again, he bounced off the top field, evidently liked the look of it, made another approach and landed between open-mouthed campers and sheep that didn't seem to notice. Maybe a little excitement's not such a bad thing. Runway 27 is open for summer. Should make touring a bit easier.

Only the best hay for Dubai

I'm looking after some of Carole Bamford's Aberdeen Angus steers, destined for Daylesford Organic and Michelin-starred kitchens across the land. Handsome beasts. I was trying to think if there was a higher-class animal when Fred the sheep farmer came running up to tell me he's sold all last year's hay from the field where the plane landed to a goat farmer in Dubai. They must be some kind of posh goats over there.

Find comfort in cheese

Lunch with Randolph Hodgson from Neal's Yard Dairy on Friday: the King of Cheese himself. He says there's more cheese flying out of his shops than ever at the moment. Well, cheese is a bargain and it's bombproof. You can't download it, borrow it or make it in the Far East. If more people are eating more good cheese than ever, surely things can't be all that bad.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Infrastructure Lead, (Trading, VCE, Converged, Hyper V)

£600 - £900 per day: Harrington Starr: Infrastructure Lead, (Trading infrastru...

Software Solution Technician - Peterborough - up to £21,000

£20000 - £21000 per annum + Training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Software Solutio...

Supply teachers needed- Worthing!

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: Supply teachers needed for va...

Year 4 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 4 Primary Teachers needed Rand...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: eurogloom, Ed in Red and Cameron's Wilsonian U-turn on control orders

John Rentoul
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering